Jules James about his resignation: “I always followed the dictates of my heart”

POSTED: 05/7/12 1:18 PM

St. Maarten – Parliamentarian Jules James resigned from his position as general manager at the Simpson Bay Resort on Friday to devote all his time to his work as a member of the opposition in parliament. In a statement James issued yesterday to the media, the MP, a member of the United People’s party-faction, explains his decision.

This is the text of his statement.

“Over the last two to three months there have been rumors of my resignation as an employee and General Manager of the Simpson Bay Resort. I can now publicly state that this is indeed the case. My decision to do this was in fact made when I was elected to Parliament, but the timing of when to execute this decision was influenced by what I judged to be matters of priority. Did I wait too long? Everyone has a right to hold an opinion on this, but I have followed always the dictates of my heart.

Even before our last elections, many people in our community questioned my role in seeking to keep the Simpson Bay Resort, formerly the Pelican Resort open and a going concern. I believed then and I believe now that my efforts to protect both the jobs of the loyal and productive workers and the Island’s economy by keeping the largest timeshare property operating as a going concern were a higher priority than personal self interest.

In 2010 all employees, including myself and management at all levels, made huge personal sacrifices in order to bring down costs at the Pelican Resort, then owned by the timeshare owners. In spite of these sacrifices, this was not sufficient to stave off the eventual foreclosure of the property by the lender. When this finally occurred, efforts were made between the union and the Simpson Bay Resort to come to an agreement to sacrifice some jobs and benefits in order to protect the remainder.

For a number of reasons, too involved to spell out in detail at this time, talks broke down and a series of cascading events have led to numerous court cases as both sides have sought to have their legal interests protected. There is an important lesson to be learned from this for all of us. When two sides believe they are in the right, going to court does not necessarily produce a winner. In this instance, the courts cannot produce a winner that will be for the greater good of St. Maarten. Only open dialog and an agreement between parties can produce a healthy solution.

Any attempt to cast blame for the current situation will be counterproductive. Political grandstanding may make for some interesting sound bites, but the burden is on the private sector, both business and labor to find a viable compromise. However, at this juncture I have the utmost respect in our judicial system for the proper execution of the rule of law.

Important now was to secure a smooth hand over, which has been done so that projects started would continue and be completed in the time allotted. I am no longer the GM and will concentrate my efforts for my remaining two years in parliament to carry out my duties as representative of all the people of St. Maarten. The task ahead has certainly not become any easier, but our country deserves a clarion voice.

I have always remained true to my ideals and will not allow any media or activist or any element to box me into a corner. There is work to be continued to be done and that is what I have set my aim at accomplishing. St. Maarten has a once and a lifetime opportunity for all who love her to get involved in a positive way and lend their support. As is known; Rome was not built in a day, nor will St. Maarten be either. Of utmost importance, though, is the decisions and choices we make as a young country. I pray to the Lord that we do not lose sight of our awesome responsibility given to us all as inhabitants of this great nation to serve in whatever capacity for the betterment of our present and future generations.

With this said, I look forward to my new roll in Parliament as minority to ensure that proper and good governance remain the order of the day. I look forward to support what is good and highlight what is unacceptable. I look forward to continue to serve with the same zeal and enthusiasm.”

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